Fear not: the 5 piece French wardrobe isn’t nearly as hardcore as it sounds. It doesn’t mean limiting your closet to only 5 pieces, one of which is a blue and white striped tee. In fact, it’s really more of a shopping diet meant to curb consumerism and keep your closet full of things you truly love. There’s beaucoup information floating around online about the method, so we’ve chosen to take our advice straight from the source: Vogue magazine and the French-est of all French it girls, Jeanne Damas.

According to Vogue, step one of the 5 piece French wardrobe technique is to edit your closet down to nothing but the basics: solid, well built classics that you’ll wear over and over again. (Think jeans, white shirts, black dresses, a great trench.)

After that, the ethos is that you buy exactly 5 trend-driven pieces per season, but they must work well with the basics you already own. (So yes, you can still have those insane gold metallic cowboy boots, just as long as you can figure out how to pair them with pieces already in your closet.) Using Jeanne as our guide, we’ve put together a little list of 5 basics pieces every French wardrobe needs along with 5 fun splurge items for this fall. Scroll down to discover your new French wardrobe, mon amor.

all images by jeanne damas

Classic Piece: Camel Trench
Trend Driven Piece: Animal Print Bucket Bag

Classic Piece: Levi’s 501 Jeans
Trend Driven Piece: Graphic Tee

Classic Piece: Floral Sundress
Trend Driven Piece: Straw Netted Bucket Bag

Classic Piece: Cream Cardigan
Trend Driven Piece: Block Heeled Ankle Boot

Classic Piece: Black Pumps
Trend Driven Piece: Canvas Jumpsuit

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Comments (2)
  1. 1
    miss agnes August 15, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    As a French woman, it never cease to amuse me to see foreigners gush over our sense of style, especially the Parisian woman. The truth is, in winter, all women in Paris look exactly alike, jeans, black coat and black boots. The warm season is a bit better, but there is not a lot of originality. The difference is that the majority of Parisians are very slim and wear pretty jewellery. Anything looks good on a slim woman. I now live in the West of France, and women tend to dress in a classic way, but we see a bit more colors and originality than in Paris.
    Paris is not France – the average French woman size is 8, it’s down to 4-6 in Paris. Parisians walk everywhere, and rarely wear the heels you see featured in most magazines. They tend to prefer solid and comfortable shoes, although feminine, to easily navigate through the endless corridors of the metro and avoid the dirt on the Paris pavement. In my region, the preferred style is the Breton shirt (in Brittany, it is everywhere), colored pants and the yellow sailor jacket, the best way to walk around under the rain. But when you travel to the South, the style is much more flirty and feminine.
    So there you have it – Jeanne Damas represents a certain type of French girl, but certainly not all.

  2. 2
    Emily August 16, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Yes, I agree!! Thank you for so poignantly expressing that French style extends beyond the popular Instagram accounts led by beautiful women, but who all look the same and all come from the same area.